The Greensheet Issue #30-20 (Full)

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No Issue Next Week!

We will not publish next week. Our offices will be closed Aug. 11-20, reopening Aug. 21. The next issue of The Greensheet will be dated Aug. 24.

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Quick Hits …
(A few short items to get us started this week)

MontAd Media reports that July automotive parts and service in-market data for most categories were flat compared to June; however, the number of consumers researching tire replacement rose 13%. There also was a significant increase in online activity in the heavy-duty and fleet categories. Click here for additional information.

Right to Repair” proponents have released a new advertisement in Massachusetts in response to an ad put out by a group funded by major car companies. In the ad, former Boston Police Commissioner and cyber security expert Ed Davis calls the automaker-backed argument a “dishonest fear campaign.”

Barry Poppen has joined the First Brands Group (formerly known as Trico Group) as a key account executive. Poppen was director of major accounts at BBB Industries. His background also includes time in sales with Cardone Industries.

• Wells Vehicle Electronics has hired Kate Johnson as its marketing manager. Johnson had spent 10 months working as a contractor for Wells. She was the owner of Wingspan Communications. Her background also includes time as a public relations account executive for Bellwether Communications, as well as director of marketing and public relations with In Your Shoes Marketing.

 

AAPEX 2020 Is Going Virtual

Because of issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, AAPEX 2020 is converting to a virtual trade show rather than an in-person event.

The show was scheduled for Nov. 3-5 at the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas. However, virus mitigation efforts in Nevada are limiting events to 50 participants. This, combined with international and domestic travel constraints, means that an in-person event like the traditional AAPEX show cannot proceed at this time, according to show owners AASA and the Auto Care Association.

“This was a difficult decision, but circumstances on the ground made it impossible to have the show that we planned for our exhibitors and attendees,” AASA President Paul McCarthy said in an announcement dated Aug. 5.

Instead, AAPEX 2020 will be a virtual show with many of the event’s same elements presented digitally. According to the associations, exhibitors will be able to introduce new products to their customers and additional domestic and international target buyers.

The virtual show will be held the week of Nov. 3, the same week as the originally planned event. Additional details will be available Aug. 19.

“AAPEX didn’t become the extraordinary event it is today by thinking small and not evolving to changing times and circumstances,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “While we had hoped to meet in person, we are excited to use technology to bring together the supply chain of essential services to conduct business.”

AAPEX 2021 is slated for Nov. 2-4 at the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas.

For additional information on AAPEX 2020, visit aapexshow.com/faqs/. All inquiries should be directed to W.T. Glasgow Inc. at (708) 226-1300 or billjr@aapexshow.com.

 

AWDA+ Will Be Virtual Only This Year

The Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) has announced that its 2020 conference, AWDA+, is now only offering the virtual experience scheduled for Nov. 16-19. This follows AAPEX 2020 moving to a completely virtual event.

AWDA earlier this year made changes to its 2020 event, which it dubbed AWDA+. A face-to-face event was to take place in conjunction with AAPEX 2020 Nov. 3-5 in Las Vegas. This would be followed by a virtual event with pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings via private video conference later in the month. The virtual experience also was to include the association’s awards ceremony, member recognitions and a general address.

“We are excited AWDA still has this touchpoint with its valued community, and we look forward to interacting with you in November,” the association stated in an Aug. 6 email announcing the virtual-only event. “As details evolve, we will share those shortly. And your patience is greatly appreciated.”

 

2020 SEMA Show Cancelled; Virtual Trade Show Under Consideration

Because of the coronavirus pandemic and concerns that event facilities and services would be unavailable, the 2020 SEMA Show has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for Nov. 3-6 in Las Vegas.

SEMA reports that surveys have shown interest in a possible virtual trade show with related live elements. The association stated on Aug. 5 that it will work with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.

“We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year,” President and CEO Chris Kersting said in the Aug. 5 announcement. “While we are disappointed circumstances prevent us from hosting the show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event.”

Full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees will be issued. Updates will be posted to SEMAShow.com.

 

PRI Proceeding With Show Prep

In an email dated Aug. 3, new Performance Racing Industry (PRI) President Jamie Meyer provided an update on plans for the association’s annual trade show. Meyer noted that at the moment, plans are moving forward for the PRI Show to take place Dec. 10-12 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

He stated that PRI is working with Visit Indy, convention center staff members, the mayor’s office and other city officials on plans for the event. PRI Show exhibitors and attendees will be required to wear masks, sanitize their hands, go through health screenings and practice social distancing at the event.

As for the venue, Meyer pointed out that the convention center has been holding high school basketball tournaments with more than 7,000 people in attendance with safety measures in place and with no reported coronavirus outbreaks. Additionally, the city will be hosting various motorsports events with planned crowds of several thousand people.

According to Meyer, more than 940 exhibitors have registered for the 2020 PRI Show. For more information, or to register for the event, visit performanceracing.com/tradeshow.

 

2020 Latin Auto Parts, Tires Shows Scrubbed

The 2020 Latin Auto Parts Expo and Latin American & Caribbean Tire Expo will not take place.

The co-located trade shows were originally set for July 14-17 but rescheduled to Nov. 17-20 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the 2020 event has been scrubbed altogether.

The 2021 Latin Auto Parts Expo and Latin American & Caribbean Tire Expo is slated for July 13-16 at the new Panama Convention Center in Panama City, Panama.

 

 

The Network Adds Member In Mexico

Two months after initiating a light-duty division, Distribuidora de Refacciones del Golfo (DIREGO) has joined the Automotive Distribution Network.

DIREGO — which is billed as the largest heavy-duty distributor in Mexico — has 20 warehouses and four DCs, as well as three plants that manufacture heavy-duty springs that are sold in Mexico, the United States, Central America and South America.

DIREGO also is a member of the Vipar Heavy Duty network.

 

Uni-Select Reports 31.9% Decrease In Consolidated Organic Sales

Uni-Select Inc. reported $302.53 million in consolidated sales for the second quarter of 2020 — a decline of $153.64 million (or 33.7%), attributable to an organic sales decrease of 31.9% as well as unfavorable currency fluctuations and an expected erosion in sales resulting from the integration of company-owned stores over the last 12 months.

April’s consolidated sales dropped 50% with all three of Uni-Select’s business segments experiencing a decline in sales tied to coronavirus-related stay-at-home mandates, which resulted in sharply lower demand. However, sales picked up in May and June, exceeding management’s forecasts. In particular, June 2020 consolidated sales were more than 85% of Uni-Select’s June 2019 sales performance.

The company’s gross margin decreased 40.9% to $85.96 million. As a percentage of sales, gross margin decreased 350 basis points to 28.4%. According to Uni-Select, lower sales volumes resulted in unfavorable segment mix, as well as lower volume rebates tied to lower purchase volume across all segments.

Uni-Select turned in a $24.17-million net loss for the quarter compared to $6.32 million in net earnings a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA fell 58.6% to $14.84 million, while its adjusted EBITDA margin slipped 290 basis points to 4.9%.

UNITED STATES … The company’s FinishMaster U.S. segment came through with $133.37 million in sales — a decrease of $78.88 million (or 37.2%) compared to the same period a year ago. Organic sales fell 36.6%, mainly due to the pandemic and, to a lesser extent, an expected erosion in sales from the integration of company‐owned stores within the last 12 months. By month, sales were down more than 50% in April, down 34.5% in May and down 25.7% in June.

The segment’s adjusted EBITDA declined 76.5% to $4.46 million, while its adjusted EBITDA margin dropped 560 basis points to 3.3%.

CANADA … Uni-Select’s Canadian Automotive Group reported $114.30 million in sales for the quarter — a decrease of $29.15 million (or 20.3%) compared to the same period in 2019. Organic sales declined 18.0%, mainly attributable to the effects of the pandemic as well as the depreciation of the Canadian currency.

While the segment’s adjusted EBITDA fell 22.6% to $12.89 million, its adjusted EBITDA margin decreased only 20 basis points to 11.3%.

UNITED KINGDOM … The company’s Parts Alliance U.K. business turned in $54.86 million in sales for the quarter — a decline of $45.62 million (or 45.4%) compared to the second quarter of 2019. Organic sales fell 41.7%, attributable to the pandemic, the weakness of the British pound and an expected erosion resulting from the integration of company‐owned stores over the trailing 12 months.

The segment’s adjusted EBITDA dropped 89.6% to $319,000, while its adjusted EBITDA margin declined 240 basis points to 0.6%.

PANDEMIC IMPACT … President and CEO Brent Windom said management is pleased with Uni-Select’s second quarterly results, which he said were better than the company expected given the difficult operating environment caused by the coronavirus pandemic. “The temporary measures we put in place for business continuity in response to COVID-19 better aligned our cost structure with the current state of the market while allowing us to continue to serve our customers with the highest standards,” Windom stated. “Furthermore, the execution of our cash preservation plan allowed us to successfully maximize our liquidity and financial flexibility.

“In the quarter, we implemented our ‘Continuous Improvement Plan’ to ensure that we are strategically positioned for recovery and growth post-COVID-19. Through this plan, we expect to generate annualized cost savings of about $28 million by the end of 2020, of which $14 million has been realized in the second quarter, mostly through headcount reduction.”

It’s worth noting that these savings are measured against the first quarter of 2020.

Since the pandemic hit this spring, Uni-Select has been gradually phasing out some of its initial containment measures as operations are showing signs of recovery. At one point …
• 33% of all company‐owned stores were temporarily closed. By quarter’s end, more than 80% of company‐owned stores were open and operational.
• 28% of all company‐owned stores were operating on reduced hours with 7% performing very limited activities for essential services. By June 30, 12% of company‐owned stores were operating on reduced hours and 3% with very limited activities for essential services.
• 50% of employees were temporarily furloughed across all three business units. By the end of the second quarter, less than 30% of employees were temporarily furloughed.

Despite the uptick in business, management is focusing on conserving cash in order to maximize available liquidity and financial flexibility until the pandemic abates and market conditions stabilize. This includes tightening the management of working capital and nonessential expenses, such as reducing inventory purchases according to the level of sales and accentuating collection efforts. Uni-Select also is reducing capital expenditures and customer investments, as well as suspending dividend payments for the time being.

During the quarter, Uni-Select continued efforts to optimize inventory at FinishMaster and at its other segments, improving the company’s working capital by $73 million year-over-year. Since the beginning of 2020, Uni-Select has reduced its inventory levels by roughly $140 million, of which a minimum of approximately $100 million should be considered a permanent reduction going forward, according to Executive Vice President and CFO Eric Bussieres.

LOOKING AHEAD … Bussieres told analysts on Uni-Select’s July 30 quarterly report conference call that July consolidated sales have held and improved sequentially overall.

“We expect to encounter in Q3 some temporary supply chain issues, as manufacturers are challenged with a spike in recent demand. We expect this issue to subside itself by the end of third quarter, but it could temporarily impact some of our sales,” he said. “In general, we expect the aftermarket to recover more rapidly than the refinish market, as lower miles driven has a significant impact on claims.

“More specifically, we expect FinishMaster sales to recover on a regional basis as opposed to on a national basis as there is an increase in COVID-19 cases in select states … and thus are experiencing a decline in collision repairs once more. Furthermore, national and MSO sales are recovering faster than the independent market.”           — Marc Vincent

 

Brett Ponton Resigns As President, CEO, Director Of Monro

Brett Ponton has resigned as the president and CEO of Monro Inc. to become the next chief executive of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, a provider of essential services to residential and commercial customers in the termite, pest control, cleaning and restoration markets. Ponton also has resigned from Monro’s board of directors.

Ponton joined Monro in 2017 after serving as the chief executive of American Driveline Systems, parent company to AAMCO Transmissions, Cottman Transmission Systems and Global Powertrain Systems.

He also has been the president and CEO of Heartland Automotive Services, the largest operator of Jiffy Lube shops in North America; Asia-Pacific regional managing director for Veyance Technologies; and vice president of marketing for the North America tire division at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Robert Mellor, chairman of Monro’s board of directors, has been named interim CEO while the company engages an executive search firm to identify Ponton’s replacement. Mellor has been chairman since 2017. He was a director of the company from 2002-’07, when he resigned because of other public company board commitments. He rejoined the board in 2010.

Monro also announced the appointment of Leah Johnson to the board, effective immediately. Johnson has been chief communications and marketing officer of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts since 2019. Previously, she was CEO of LCJ Solutions, a strategic communications consulting firm that she founded in 2009. Her background also includes time as senior vice president of global corporate affairs at Citigroup.

 

 

Tenneco Reports 27.4% Decline In North American Motorparts Revenue

Tenneco Inc. reported $559 million in revenue from its Motorparts segment for the second quarter of 2020 — a decline of $276 million (or 33.1%) when compared to the same period a year ago. The company’s Motorparts segment engineers, manufactures, sources and distributes a broad range of products in the global vehicle aftermarket as well as services the OES market.

Lower volume — largely related to impacts from the coronavirus pandemic — contributed $241 million to the year-over-year revenue decrease, while a decrease in revenue tied to divestitures accounted for $13 million and foreign currency exchange had a $27-million unfavorable effect. Excluding foreign currency, Motorparts’ revenue decreased 29.8% to $586 million.

Motorparts’ North American revenue declined 27.4% to $389 million.

Segment adjusted EBITDA dropped 43.7% to $71 million, with margin declining 240 basis points to 12.7%.

For the third quarter, management is calling for a 10% to 15% year-over-year decrease in aftermarket revenue, mostly outside of North America, which would indicate solid sequential improvement when compared to the three months ended June 30, 2020.

RATIONALIZATION … Beginning this quarter, Tenneco’s Motorparts segment will initiate a “rationalization” of its supply chain and distribution network in an attempt to achieve supply chain efficiencies and improve throughput to its customers, according to an Aug. 6 filing with the SEC.

“As a result, certain assets — including inventory, real estate and personal property — will no longer be utilized,” the company wrote. “As such, during the three and six months ended June 30, 2020, the Motorparts segment recognized an $82-million non-cash charge to write down inventory to its net realizable value; a $16-million impairment charge to write down property, plant and equipment to its fair value; and a $9-million impairment charge to its operating lease right-of-use assets. Additionally, the Motorparts segment recognized $4 million in restructuring charges related to cash severance expected to be paid.”

SEPARATION … Tenneco has paused efforts to separate the company into two businesses: an aftermarket and ride performance company (DRiV Inc.) and a new powertrain technology outfit. This is related to current end-market conditions and the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

 

Dorman Products’ Q2 Net Income Declined 35.4%; Sales Decreased 8.3%

For the second quarter ended June 27, 2020, Dorman Products saw its net income fall 35.4% to $13.89 million. Adjusted net income declined 31.7% to $15.16 million. Its gross profit decreased 9.2% to $79.15 million, while gross margin slipped from 34.3% to 33.9% on a year-over-year basis.

The company’s net sales declined 8.3% to $233.18 million. According to Dorman, customer orders dropped significantly in April because of government-imposed restrictions designed to slow the spread of coronavirus. However, the company experienced a rapid recovery as the quarter progressed, with May orders flat compared to the prior-year period and June orders up in the high teens, led by strong DIY consumer demand.

Management estimates the pandemic’s total negative impact on net sales to be between 14% and 16% in the second quarter.

By category …
• Powertrain product sales decreased 4.8% to $94.60 million.
• Chassis product sales declined 18.1% to $66.03 million.
• Automotive body product sales decreased 6.4% to $58.83 million.
• Hardware sales increased 21.8% to $13.73 million.

The company reports that it was able to launch a major premium chassis program it won with a large national customer on schedule despite the pandemic’s impact. Product began shipping in June. Additionally, Dorman’s heavy-duty net sales performed in line with the rest of the business and finished the second quarter with strong growth in the month of June, according to management.

Early in the third quarter of 2020, the company repaid the $99 million outstanding under a revolving line of credit that had been drawn down in March to enhance Dorman’s liquidity.

The company reports that Dorman generated $201 million in cash from operating activities in the second quarter. And as of July 28, the company had no amounts drawn under its revolving credit agreement — excluding $800,000 of issued but undrawn letters of credit — and roughly $230 million in cash and cash equivalents.

Dorman is not providing guidance for the remainder of fiscal 2020 at this time, citing ongoing uncertainty related to the pandemic and its impact on the overall economy.

Analysts with Jefferies LLC are calling for Dorman to produce 8.0% sales growth in the third quarter of 2020.

 

Retired Aisin Executive Bob Clark Transitions To Advisory Role

Bob Clark, vice president of the aftermarket at Aisin World Corp. of America, has retired but is staying on in a temporary advisory role. Clark spent his 30 years at Aisin in aftermarket supply and oversaw much of his territory’s growth over the years.

“When I began in 1991, the aftermarket was relatively small,” Clark said. “We were able to grow it substantially since then.”

Aisin opened two new warehouses in the last six years to keep up with its growth. One 100,000-square-foot facility opened in Torrance, CA in 2014, and a second warehouse opened in Nashville in 2018 to service the Midwest and Northeast.

He attributed much of the aftermarket growth during his tenure to a concerted effort to create better brand awareness. “Aisin did a large advertising campaign, and, by doing that, we were able to tell people a lot more about the size and scope of our company,” Clark said. “Aisin is the sixth-largest global automotive supplier in the world. That campaign really helped focus on our company capabilities, and it helped our aftermarket capabilities tremendously.”

Clark, who grew up helping his father manage his NAPA Auto Parts store in Banning, CA, began his career at Aisin after stints working the counter at NAPA and in outside sales for Champion Auto Parts. A chance encounter at a wedding got him the Aisin job, where he started out as an aftermarket sales manager before moving up through the ranks to his eventual role as vice president.

In his current role, Clark is working part-time to help ease the transition for his successors. Clark said he is ready to pursue retirement full time but has enjoyed the gradual reduction in involvement that his advisory role has allowed.

“It’s nice way to ease out of full responsibility,” Clark said. “I do about 80 hours a month. That still gives me flexibility to do other things that are not Aisin-related.”        — Susan Pappas

 

 

SRS Marketing Promotes Shapiro To Business Development VP

SRS Marketing has promoted David Shapiro to vice president of business development. Shapiro works in various divisions at SRS, including heavy-duty, truck/performance, internet and automotive.

“David has been with SRS Marketing for six years and has a unique blend of enthusiasm and knowledge. He has earned his [Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation] and quickly has become a known young executive in our industry,” said Robbie Riefberg, president. “David will help to guide SRS in years to come, and this promotion is well-deserved. We wish him luck and success.”

Shapiro, who represents the fourth generation of his family to work at SRS, is completing his fifth consecutive year on the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) council after serving as its chairman last year. He also sits on the Auto Care Association’s Manufacturers’ Representatives Council.

 

Chick Capoli Adds To Southeast Team

The Chick Capoli Sales Company has announced the addition of John Velella to its Southeast sales team effective Sept. 3. Velella, who resides in Georgia, will provide sales and service to the company’s distributor partners in Alabama and Tennessee. He will report to Angelo Capoli, vice president of sales for the Southeast division.

 

Continental To Expand Indiana R&D Facility

Continental AG plans to expand its ContiTech Vibration Control research and development operations in Auburn, IN, investing more than $4 million to renovate and equip the 100,000-square-foot facility it acquired in 2019. The move allows Continental to consolidate existing technical centers in Canada and Michigan. Management expects the Auburn R&D facility to be fully moved into by the end of 2024.

 

Snap-on Tools Group Reports 19.7% Organic Sales Decrease For Q2

For the second quarter of 2020, Snap-on Inc. saw its net income decline 43.9% to $101.20 million. The company’s gross profit decreased 28.0% to $341.20 million, while consolidated gross margin slipped 270 basis points to 47.1%.

Snap-on’s consolidated net sales declined 23.9% to $724.30 million, attributable to a 22.9% drop in organic sales, primarily because of coronavirus-related impacts, as well as $14.40 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation and $2.30 million in acquisition-related sales.

Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk told analysts on the company’s July 31 earnings call that the virus seems to play out in three phases. “First, the initial shock: a substantial interruption of activity at both the franchisee and the customer level. This was evident in late March and in April,” Pinchuk explained. “Second, a combination period, as operations and individuals develop more and more ways to safely pursue their opportunities against the COVID-19 environment. We appear to be seeing that effect through May, June and onward. And, of course, we have actively participated in that process, broadcasting best practices, working hard to accelerate the comeback.

“Finally, the third phase: psychological recovery. Following a return to normal, customers will need to regain confidence in the future before they resume full buying participation. And, in that recovery, we see great opportunities as driving is restored and becomes even more popular, even more essential.”

TOOLS GROUP … The Snap-on Tools Group (TG) reported $323.30 million in net sales for the quarter — a decrease of $82.50 million, or 20.3%. Management attributed the downturn in TG sales to a 19.7% organic sales decline and $3.30 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation. TG’s organic sales decrease includes a mid-teen decline in the United States and a nearly 40% drop from the segment’s international operations.

On the call, Pinchuk called TG’s performance a clear demonstration both of the pandemic trajectory across the business, as well as the strength and resilience of its direct, face-to-face model. “As the virus rose in late March and April, the network was shocked individually and collectively,” he said. “The impact varied by region, but all geographies were affected. April was the deepest.

“However, moving from that point, our franchisees — in collaboration with the Snap-on team — found increasingly effective ways to accommodate the pandemic … And, each subsequent month, the vans have shown significant gains. In fact, the Tools Group sales in June were down just 3.1% — up nicely after a tough start to the quarter.”

In July, the segment’s sales improved from June’s 3.1% decrease, according to management.

TG gross margin fell 340 basis points to 41.7%. Segment operating earnings declined 46.1% to $38.40 million, while its operating margin decreased from 17.6% to 11.9% on a year-over-year basis. The company attributed this to lower sales volumes and costs to maintain manufacturing capacity, as well as pandemic-related costs, restructuring charges and unfavorable foreign currency effects.

Analysts with Jefferies LLC wrote in a July 31 report that they remain cautious regarding TG’s near-term growth, noting that industry commentary suggests softer DIFM demand relative to DIY, which could weigh on franchisee reorders.

“We are modeling Q3 segment organic sales of +1.0%,” Bret Jordan, Mark Jordan and Ethan Huntley wrote. “However, management did note that sales of the van are outpacing Tools Group segment sales. Segment operating margins are likely to remain below prior-year levels, but we expect a sequential improvement to 12.2% in Q3.”

RS&IG … The company’s Repair Systems & Information Group (RS&IG) net sales declined by $103.90 million, or 29.8%, to $245.00 million, reflecting a 29.5% organic sales decrease in addition to $4.80 million in unfavorable foreign currency translation and $2.30 million in acquisition-related sales.

RS&IG’s organic sales downturn includes declines of over 30% in sales of undercar equipment and to OEM dealerships, as well as a mid-teen decrease in sales of diagnostic and repair information products to independent repair shop owners and managers.

Segment gross margin improved 110 basis points to 47.4%. RS&IG’s operating earnings decreased 42.9% to $50.60 million, while its operating margin slipped from 25.4% to 20.7% on a year-over-year basis, primarily related to lower sales volume, as well as restructuring charges and pandemic-related costs.         — Marc Vincent

 

Fortive’s Vehicle Repair Market Revenue Slid 26%

Fortive Corp. reported that second-quarter 2020 sales to the vehicle repair end market declined 26% to $103.20 million. President and CEO Jim Lico told analysts on Fortive’s July 28 earnings call that the company’s Matco Tools business saw significant pressure early in the quarter followed by a strong recovery in orders as coronavirus pandemic-related lockdowns began to lift.

“The lockdown really impacted Matco. April was a really tough month. But, as soon as things started to open up, it accelerated back to what we would normally call a pretty resilient business, quite frankly, historically relative to economic cycles,” Lico said on the call.

He also updated analysts on preparations for the separation of Vontier Corp. from Fortive. Vontier will focus on the transportation and mobility markets, and will be comprised mainly of Matco, Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Teletrac Navman.

“We continue to evaluate our options for structuring the separation either via spin or split,” Lico said. “The Fortive and Vontier teams remain in a position to move forward with an effective separation as soon as market conditions permit. Mark Morelli and Dave Naemura continue to guide the Vontier businesses through the challenging macro conditions, while also leading the build-out of Vontier’s organizational capacity as the team prepares for its future as an independent public company.”

Morelli will be the president and CEO of Vontier, while Naemura (formerly of Gates Industrial Corp.) will be Vontier’s CFO.

 

Tuffy Acquisition Helped Myers’ Distribution Unit Post Only 2.2% Sales Decrease

The distribution segment (automotive aftermarket end market) of Myers Industries reported $37.54 million in net sales for the second quarter of 2020 — a decrease of $900,000, or 2.2%, compared to the same period in 2019. Management attributed the downturn to approximately $5.90 million in lower volume that was partially offset by roughly $5.00 million in incremental sales related to the 2019 acquisition of Tuffy Manufacturing Industries.

According to Myers, distribution segment demand improved during the quarter as coronavirus-related stay-at-home restrictions lifted and more vehicles returned to the road. In the end, sales were better than management had anticipated, according to Executive Vice President and CFO Kevin Brackman.

Segment operating income fell 50.8% to $1.64 million, and its operating margin declined 430 basis points to 4.4%, mainly because of higher sales of equipment (which carry a lower margin) versus consumables, as well as an unfavorable mix of acquisition versus base sales volume. Distribution’s adjusted EBITDA decreased 37.5% to approximately $2.20 million, while its adjusted EBITDA margin slid 340 basis points to 6.0%.

For the full year, management now expects its distribution segment to come through with a low-single-digit decrease in sales, which marks an improvement over its previous guidance calling for a high-single-digit decline. Brackman told analysts on Myers’ July 30 quarterly report conference call that the upward revision is based on demand improving more quickly than anticipated once stay-at-home restrictions lifted.

Myers’ distribution segment — mainly Myers Tire Supply — is engaged in the distribution of tools, equipment and supplies used in the tire, wheel, and under-vehicle service of passenger, heavy-truck and off-road vehicles, as well as the manufacturing of tire repair and retreading products.

 

 

45% Of Specialty Equipment Companies Report Mostly Business As Usual

According to a July 24-30 survey conducted by SEMA Market Research, 45% of specialty equipment businesses reported “mostly business as usual” — up from 28% in a May 20-29 survey and up from 17% in an April 1-7 survey. Only 5% reported “business is severely impacted long term” — down from 11% in May and 13% in April.

When asked to project 2020 sales compared to 2019 sales, 49% of respondents answered “higher or about the same as last year” — up from 37% in May and 20% in April. Only 5% answered “down 50% of more” — down from 10% in both May and April.

Click here to read more about SEMA Market Research’s recent survey on business conditions and outlook.

 

Transamerican Auto Parts’ Sales Declined 10% In Q2

The aftermarket segment of Polaris Inc. — which includes Transamerican Auto Parts (TAP), Klim, Kolpin, ProArmor, Trail Tech and 509 — reported $207.50 million in sales for the second quarter of 2020. This was down 9.3% from last year’s second quarter.

TAP sales declined 10% to roughly $189 million, while sales from Polaris’ other aftermarket brands were basically flat compared to a year ago.

Aftermarket gross profit decreased 13.8% to $47.60 million. As a percentage of sales, aftermarket gross profit slipped from 24.1% to 22.9% on a year-over-year basis, attributable to a number of factors, including lower sales volumes, higher tariff and freight costs, and lower vendor rebates.

 

Specialty Products Company Buys Assets Of Peterson Fluid Systems

The Specialty Products Company of Longmont, CO has acquired Peterson Fluid Systems’ assets and team in nearby Henderson. Peterson is a designer and manufacturer of performance oiling and fluid system components, including oil pumps, oil and fuel filters, drives and pulleys, and plumbing for various motorsports applications.

“Peterson Fluid Systems offers an exciting opportunity for Specialty Products’ SPC Performance brand to continue to provide innovative products to the racing and performance sectors, along with growth opportunities into this expanding market,” Ben Bigelow, president and CEO of Specialty Products, said in an announcement dated Aug. 3.

Specialty Products is a designer and manufacturer of wheel alignment products, supplying both traditional and performance distributors with a range of products for passenger-car, light-truck, heavy-duty, off-road and racing use.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

Garage Gurus Resuming In-Person Training,
Mobile Training

The Garage Gurus training and support platform from DRiV Inc. has reopened all of its in-person, hands-on training locations throughout the United States. This includes its Mobile Automotive Training Center (MATC), which begins the month with its first series of training sessions for customers in Maine and New Hampshire.

MATC takes place in a double-expandable trailer converted into a mobile training center.

The relaunched program features instruction with ASE-certified master trainers and covers such topics as ASE test prep, electronics, ignition, braking, exhaust and engine. All attendees and trainers are equipped with personal protective equipment, and class capacity has been reduced to a maximum of 12 students.

Garage Gurus technical education centers are located in the following markets …
• Atlanta.
• Baltimore.
• Boston.
• Chicago.
• Dallas/Fort Worth.
• Houston.
• New Hyde Park, NY.
• Rancho Dominguez, CA.
• South Florida.
• St. Louis.
• Suburban Detroit.
• Van Nuys, CA.

 

USTMA Revises U.S. Replacement Tire Shipment Projections Upward

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) now projects 2020 U.S. tire shipments to decrease by 53.30 million units (or 16%) to 279.40 million units compared to 2019. Notably, this is 5.80 million units higher than USTMA projected back in April.

Replacement passenger tire shipments are now forecast to decline 15.2% to 188.70 million units in 2020. This is up from USTMA’s April projection, which called for shipments to decrease 17.2% to 184.40 million units.

Replacement light-truck tire shipments are projected to decrease 11.8% to 28.70 million units. This also is up from the association’s April forecast, which expected shipments to decline 16.0% to 27.30 million units.

Truck tire replacement shipments are forecast to decline 5.0% to 18.00 million units. This is up from USTMA’s April projection, which called for shipments to decrease 7.3% to 17.60 million units.

 

Discount Tire Joins CarAdvise Network

CarAdvise, an online marketplace for vehicle maintenance and repair, has forged a tire service partnership with Discount Tire, adding more than 1,000 shops across 36 states to its network of shop partners.

The CarAdvise platform allows users to compare prices for services at thousands of shops across North America. Consumers and commercial fleets receive upfront discounted pricing when booking through CarAdvise, as well as the ability to approve and pay for services in real time and track their service history.

 

Valvoline’s Quick Lube Sales Decreased 5.4%

For the fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2020, Valvoline Inc. reported $199 million in sales from its Quick Lubes (Valvoline Instant Oil Change) operations — a decrease of 5.4% when compared to the same period a year ago.

According to management, decreased travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic negatively impacted sales for the period. This was partially offset by an increase in new customer transactions, premium mix improvements and increases in non-oil-change services, which combined to drive higher average tickets.

CEO Sam Mitchell stressed on Valvoline’s Aug. 4 earnings call that new customer acquisition is a fundamental component of management’s Quick Lubes approach. “We have been successful at attracting and retaining new customers since we entered the business,” Mitchell told analysts on the call.

“While our overall number of transactions was impacted by COVID-19 beginning in the second half of March, we saw an increased mix of new customers as a percentage of our total customers in April and May,” he said. “Then in June, we saw a significant increase in new customers and same-store sales performance despite the fact that we reduced our marketing efforts during the quarter. This is due, in part, to the strength of our ‘stay in your car’ service model that lends itself to social distancing.

“In company-owned stores, we saw 8.5% growth in new customers versus Q3 last year. This increase in new customer acquisition was a key part of the recovery in same-store sales during the quarter.”

For the quarter, combined same-store sales declined 8.0%. However, same-store sales improved sequentially throughout the quarter, with June same-store sales up 7.1% and total sales up 16%.

Company-owned shops saw their sales increase 2.5% to $139 million for the quarter, yet same-store sales declined 5.0%. Franchised shops’ sales fell 20% to $60 million with same-store sales down 10%.

Quick Lubes’ gross slipped from 39.1% to 36.7% on a year-over-year basis, attributable to increased labor costs — including those related to operating during the onset of the pandemic — as well as higher costs associated with the ramp-up phase of newly built shops within their first year of operation.

Segment operating income dropped 25% to $36 million. As a percentage of sales, its operating income declined from 22.7% to 18.1%. Quick Lubes’ EBITDA decreased 17.5% to $47 million; however, it’s worth noting that its EBITDA rose 8% in June.

NEW CUSTOMER GROWTH … In light of the strong exit rate to the fiscal third quarter, the company launched a new Valvoline Instant Oil Change ad campaign in July emphasizing safety and its “stay in your car” service model.

“We estimate that there are roughly $450 million in oil changes performed in a typical year in the U.S. do-it-for-me market. Valvoline Instant Oil Change has a solid share position within the quick-lubes category but a relatively low share in the broader DIFM space,” Mitchell said on the call. “This creates a large addressable market for our convenience-based, safety-oriented service model.

“Most of our new customers have come from outside the quick-lubes category for some time. This accelerated noticeably in Q3. We are focused on maintaining this momentum and winning new customers.”

Valvoline estimates that roughly 60% of its recent new customer growth came at the expense of car dealerships, as well as tire and repair shops.

NETWORK GROWTH … During the nine months ended June 30, 2020, Valvoline acquired 21 shops in single- and multi-store transactions (including 11 former franchised shops) for a total of $18 million. Over that same timeframe, the company sold six shops for roughly $3 million.

Valvoline ended the quarter with 1,432 total shops.

Management expects its Valvoline Instant Oil Change network to grow by 40 shops in the current quarter — roughly half being newly built locations. For the next fiscal year, the forecast is for 100 shops.

GUIDANCE … For July, management expects systemwide same-store sales to come in higher than June’s 7.1% growth. For the entire fiscal fourth quarter, Valvoline is forecasting high single-digit, same-store sales growth for its Quick Lubes unit.         — Marc Vincent

 

Take 5 Oil Change Provides Update On Expansion

Take 5 Oil Change has welcomed seven new franchisees since the beginning of 2020 with development commitments for more than 80 new shops in the Midwest and western part of the United States, including Chicago, St. Louis, Denver and Salt Lake City.

Notably, this will be Take 5’s first location in Utah.

According to the company, 16 new franchise locations have opened so far this year across the South and Midwest. Take 5 has more than 530 company-owned and franchised shops across the United States and Canada.

 

 

Driven Brands Buys Car Wash Group

Driven Brands has acquired the International Car Wash Group (ICWG), adding to an auto care portfolio that already includes Take 5 Oil Change, Meineke Car Care Centers, Maaco, Carstar, ABRA, 1-800-Radiator & A/C and the Automotive Training Institute, to name a few. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Driven now has more than 4,000 locations across 15 countries, accounting for roughly $3.80 billion in annual systemwide sales, according to the company.

Charlotte-based Driven is a portfolio company of Roark Capital.

 

Penske Reports 34.3% Drop In Retail Auto Dealer Customer-Pay Sales

The Penske Automotive Group reported $345.20 million in retail automotive dealership service and parts revenue for the second quarter of 2020 — a decrease of $205.50 million (or 37.3%) compared to last year.

On a same-store basis, parts and service revenue declined 36.1% to $345.00 million. Excluding $1.90 million in unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations, same-store service and parts revenue was down 35.8%. The decrease in same-store revenue breaks down as a …
$124.20 million (or 34.3%) drop in customer-pay revenue.
• $56.00 million (or 39.5%) fall in warranty revenue.
• $15.00 million (or 41.3%) decline in vehicle preparation and body shop revenue.

Service and parts gross profit fell 38.7% to $201.20 million, and gross margin decreased from 59.6% to 58.3% on a year-over-year basis.

Same-store service and parts gross profit declined 37.6% to $201.00 million. Excluding $1.00 million in unfavorable foreign currency, same-store gross profit was down 37.2%. The decrease in same-store service and parts gross profit came from a …
$63.70 million (or 36.5%) decline in customer-pay gross profit.
• $27.60 million (or 36.8%) fall in warranty gross profit.
• $29.60 million (or 40.7%) drop in vehicle preparation and body shop gross profit.

As of June 30, Bloomfield Hills, MI-based Penske operated 317 retail automotive franchises of which 145 were located in the United States and 172 were located overseas, primarily in the United Kingdom.

 

Sonic Reports 17.9% Dip In Franchised Dealership Customer-Pay Revenue

For the second quarter of 2020, Sonic Automotive reported $259.06 million in consolidated fixed operations (parts, service and collision repair) revenue — a decline of 27.1% compared to the second quarter of 2019. Same-store consolidated fixed operations revenue decreased 24.4%, attributable to the impact of coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders.

Sonic’s franchised dealerships delivered $252.33 million in same-store fixed operations revenue — a decrease of 24.5%, with customer-pay revenue down 17.9%; warranty revenue down 28.5%; wholesale parts revenue down 33.7%; and internal, sublet and other revenue down 27.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Franchised dealership same-store fixed operations gross profit declined 24.4%, with customer-pay down 16.0%; warranty down 28.2%; wholesale parts down 33.6%; and internal, sublet and other gross profit down 33.9%. On a same-store basis, gross margin was unchanged at 49.1%.

By month, same-store fixed operations gross profit fell 43% in April, declined 27% in May and decreased only 2% in June.

Sonic’s used-vehicle-oriented EchoPark business generated $6.28 million in same-store fixed operations revenue for the quarter — a decrease of 21.3% compared to the same period a year ago. EchoPark’s same-store fixed operations gross profit was unchanged at $141,000, yet its gross margin decreased 40 basis points to -2.2%.

Charlotte-based Sonic Automotive had 85 franchised dealerships (98 new vehicle franchises representing 21 different brands of cars and light trucks), 15 collision repair centers and 10 EchoPark locations across 12 states at quarter’s end.

 

Audi Of America Selects CCC Parts Technology

Audi of America has entered into a multi-year agreement with CCC Information Services to use CCC Promote as its sole parts promotion technology.

CCC Promote will allow Audi dealers across the United States to offer promotional pricing on parts to collision repairers as estimates are being written within the CCC One platform. Prices can be customized by vehicle make, model, year and part type.

“The CCC program connects Audi dealers to an active community of collision repairers at a key decision point,” said Joe Rood, director of parts and accessories for Audi of America. “CCC’s platform complements and supports our near- and longer-term Audi collision parts strategy, and we are excited to see it develop further.”

 

HDMA President To Retire In 2021

The Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA) has announced that President and COO Tim Kraus is planning to step down from his role as the business leader. Kraus’ departure is slated for the end of Feb. 28, 2021. A search is underway for his successor, according to the association.

Kraus served on HDMA’s board from 1992-’02, including two terms as chairman. He became the association’s executive director in 2004 and HDMA’s president and COO in 2008. Prior to joining the association, Kraus was the general manager of product and distribution for Triseal Corp. His background also includes time as director of sales and marketing at Phillips and Temro Industries and as a district sales manager with McCord Gaskets.

According to HDMA, Kraus plans to explore opportunities as an adviser, consultant and board member with industry firms.

 

Private Equity Group In Deal To Buy STEMCO Air Springs From EnPro

EnPro Industries has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its STEMCO Air Springs business unit — manufacturer of Goodyear-licensed air springs, as well as Super Cushion and Spring Ride air springs — to an affiliate of the private equity firm Turnspire Capital Partners.

The deal is for $32 million in cash and a long-term promissory note with a face value of $7.50 million that will be stated at fair value. The purchase price is subject to adjustment based on the amount of cash and working capital on the closing date.

Upon closing, an affiliate of Turnspire will acquire all the assets of the Air Springs business, including full brand licensing rights; a technical and R&D center in Fairlawn, OH; all manufacturing facilities; all intellectual property; and all real estate in the United States and Mexico.

David Brinkman, general manager of Air Springs, will continue to lead the business as CEO under Turnspire’s ownership.

The sale is expected to close in the current quarter. The deal is subject to antitrust approval in addition to typical closing conditions.

EnPro President and CEO Marvin Riley called the agreement an important milestone in reshaping STEMCO’s portfolio and a move that significantly reduces EnPro’s exposure to the commercial vehicle and heavy-duty truck markets.

“Over the past year, we have conducted an extensive review of our portfolio of companies to identify businesses and product lines that are no longer aligned with our long-term objectives. Based on this work, we have exited several product lines and divested several businesses to reduce our heavy-duty truck exposure,” Riley explained. “We are pleased to share that we expect to complete this transaction as well as the other announced exits in line with the year-end 2020 timeline that we previously communicated.”

The Air Springs business is headquartered in Fairlawn, OH. It provides premium air springs for trucks, trailers, buses and specialty vehicles.

“We look forward to continuing the Goodyear Air Springs legacy as an independent company by leveraging an extensive product portfolio and bringing innovative technology solutions to leading OEM partners and aftermarket customers,” said Turnspire Partner Abel Osorio.

Turnspire’s current portfolio includes the Crane Carrier Company (CCC) of New Philadelphia, OH, a manufacturer of purpose-built truck chassis and specialty engineered vehicles, and MPI Products of Rochester Hills, MI, a manufacturer of high-precision, fine-blanked metal components for automotive and industrial applications.

 

BettsHD Joins OptiCat Network

OptiCat LLC, a supplier of cataloging data services for the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket, has announced that BettsHD has joined its network. The OptiCat Network provides a cloud-based secure data repository with data validation and distribution services for the aftermarket supply chain. According to the company, there are more than 930 supplier brands in OptiCat’s secure data repository for use by supplier-approved data receiver channel partners.

 

PSA Purchases Used Parts Distributor

PSA Aftermarket, a part of the PSA Group, has acquired a majority stake in Amanha Global, a global used parts seller based in Portugal, along with its e-commerce platform, B-Parts.com.

Amanha sells both business-to-business as well as business-to consumer and has a presence in 15 countries. According to an announcement dated July 23, PSA Aftermarket intends to maintain Amanha’s management team in their current functions.

 

German Tire/Wheel Retailer Sold

Gundlach Automotive Corp. Holding — a business-to-business distributor of tires, rims and fully assembled wheels based in Germany — has sold Goodwheel GmbH to TS Rochen Beteiligungs, retransferring the e-commerce business to its co-founder, Hendrik Salewski, who is the former managing director of Reifen24. Goodwheel is a consumer-focused business, selling tires, wheels, and motor oil for cars and motorcycles.

 

NEW … Seeking Sales Manager

Talented Sales Manager to develop product and account strategies to expand distribution within the aftermarket retailers, heavy-duty truck, online retailers, industrial aftermarket, industrial OE, motorcycle aftermarket and marine. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

Uni-Select Canada: Senior Merchandising Director, Automotive

We are now looking for a team member responsible for guiding product and merchandising strategies and functions to ensure the achievement of objectives related to key performance indicators, sales, gross margins, inventory, service levels and overall profitability. … (more) … Click here to find out more.

 

MEMA Issues Statement In Opposition To Aluminum Tariff Reinstatement

Bill Long, president and CEO of MEMA, issued the following statement Aug. 6 in response to President Trump’s plan to reimpose Section 232 tariffs on Canadian aluminum …

“President Trump’s announcement to impose Section 232 tariffs on Canadian aluminum will place greater financial hardship on U.S. vehicle parts manufacturers at a time when the industry is trying to recover from plant shutdowns and a declining economy. MEMA has been a strong advocate and supporter of the Trump administration’s historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). We are disappointed with the tariff announcement, coming so soon after USMCA entered into force.

“Our 1,000-member motor vehicle parts manufacturers, with over 871,000 employees across the country, are in the midst of a continuing national public health and economic crisis. These are difficult times, and many companies are struggling to maintain payrolls. The last thing companies need is additional tariff increases on necessary materials. Bringing back unilateral tariffs on aluminum from Canada is unwarranted and will harm a key ally. The action will also adversely impact already suffering U.S. consumers by raising the costs of new vehicles as well as parts necessary to repair and maintain motor vehicles.”

 

Job Mart: Richard Odom

Dynamic self-driven leader with extensive background in sales and marketing. Proven record of success in building, nurturing and growing customer sales and relationships. Extensive experience in developing, launching and maintaining successful sales and marketing programs. Proven ability to open, develop and nurture relationships with program groups, national retailers, warehouse distributors and national accounts. Seeking new opportunity within the automotive aftermarket. (734) 330-7944 | Tifosi27@att.net | www.linkedin.com/in/richard-odom-54924011/

 

People Watching 8/10/20

Brian Couch has joined Regitar USA as a product development manager. Couch previously was a pricing and category manager with Dixie Electric and a new product development manager for Motorcar Parts of America. His background also includes time in category management with Standard Motor Products and Vistapro Automotive.

Larrow Kaufman of Aisin World Corp. of America has joined the CAWA Manufacturers’ Advisory Council. Kaufman is national sales manager for the North American aftermarket business division of Aisin.

Dan Risley, vice president of quality repair and market development for CCC Information Services, is now a Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) trustee. Risley also is the former president and executive director of the Automotive Service Association. CIF raises, manages and provides emergency relief funds to collision repair professionals who have been impacted by natural disasters or other catastrophic events.

Tint World Automotive Styling Centers has announced Michael Glick as its franchise development manager. He is tasked with assisting new franchise owners as they transition into their new management roles. Glick previously was a franchise development specialist with TBC Corp.

• Power Solutions International has appointed corporate controller and principal accounting officer Donald Klein as its interim CFO. He succeeds Chip Avery Jr., who will be departing the company “to pursue other interests” following a transition period, according to PSI. Prior to joining the company in 2018, Klein was assistant corporate controller for Littelfuse Inc.

Cox Enterprises has announced Steve Rowley as the new president of Cox Automotive. He was executive vice president of Cox Business, the commercial division of Cox Communications. Rowley takes over as president from Sandy Schwartz, who has been appointed CEO of the Cox Family Office, while remaining CEO of Cox Automotive. Cox Automotive includes a number of businesses involved in the sale and service of vehicles, including Dealertrack, XTime, VinSolutions, AutotraderKelley Blue Book, vAuto and Manheim.

• Former Dana Inc. President and CEO Gary Convis has rejoined the Sypris Solutions board of directors as a “Class II” member. Convis retired from the Sypris board in May 2019 after seven years of service. Louisville, KY-based Sypris is a diversified provider of truck components, oil and gas pipeline components, and aerospace and defense electronics.

• The Blink Charging Company, a provider of electric vehicle charging equipment and services, has announced Mike Battaglia as its vice president of sales. Battaglia was the vice president of sales – global automotive division for J.D. Power.

• Safelite AutoGlass has appointed Executive Vice President ­of People and Leadership Ryan Trierweiler as chair of the Safelite AutoGlass Foundation.

 

News Briefs 8/10/20

• MEMA, the Auto Care Association and SEMA are among a group of industry associations advocating for the inclusion of liability relief for a range of businesses, non-profit organizations and educational institutions in the latest coronavirus relief package under consideration by the U.S. government.

• The Stauffer family and Northwood University have created a scholarship in memory of co-founders Willa and Gary Stauffer. The awards will go to select senior full-time students studying entrepreneurship full-time on the Midland, MI campus. Mrs. Stauffer died July 6.

• Dorman Products has joined the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation’s “Champion” program. Companies participating in this initiative commit to supporting AACF’s mission by donating $25,000 or more.

Melling Engine Parts has received a “Content Excellence Award” from PartsTech Inc.

• Mannes, a French parts seller, has joined Nexus Automotive International.

• Turn 14 Distribution has added SPAL Automotive USA’s electric fans and accessories to its line card.

• Electric bike developer Elby Mobility has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Keystone Automotive Operations covering the entire United States and parts of other countries.

Denso Products & Services Americas will be title sponsor of the Labor Day weekend NHRA competition at Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, IN. The event will be titled the Denso Spark Plugs U.S. Nationals.

• In support of the industry’s “Your Car. Your Data. Your Choice” initiative, Standard Motor Products (SMP) is running a sweepstakes promotion through Oct. 31 designed to raise awareness among drivers about transparency issues regarding the data collected from their cars. For more information, visit SMPYourCarYourDataSweepstakes.com.

GB Auto Service has opened four additional shops — three in Arizona and one in Texas — giving the company a total of 167 tire and automotive service locations supporting nine brands across four states. Since its acquisition of BRAKEmax and Tire Works in late 2017, GB Auto has added more than 130 shops, increasing its footprint 450%.

Strickland Brothers 10 Minute Oil Change has announced its first Tennessee franchise owner, Victor Miller, who plans to open five shops in the Nashville area.

• Worksport Ltd., formerly Franchise Holdings International, is changing its stock ticker symbol from “FNHI” to “WKSP.” Worksport manufactures tonneau covers for the international light-truck market.

Wheeler Bros Inc. has changed its name to Wheeler Fleet Solutions. The company will continue to operate its business with the same legal structure, officers, personnel, account information, and policies and procedures. There is no change to ownership; Wheeler remains a subsidiary of VSE Corp.

 

Event & Trade Show Briefs 8/10/20

• The Automotive Parts Services Group will hold a virtual national meeting Friday, Aug. 21 for Pronto Smart Choice and Federated Car Care Centers. It will allow banner shop customers to interact with more than 130 of The Group’s vendor partners. They will have the opportunity to hear about new products and upgrades, as well as view product and program presentations. For more information, visit apsg2020.com

• Because of the cancelation of its 2020 business conference — and in cooperation with the Auto Care Association — the Automotive Aftermarket Association of the Mid-South (AAAMS) will be joining the Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) in holding a virtual town hall meeting Oct. 7. Topics will include “The State of the Automotive Parts & Services Industry,” a discussion of state and federal legislative proposals and regulations, and a “pep talk” about the industry’s future from Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey.

Fleet Complete Chief Strategy Officer Sandeep Kar will address the virtual AASA Technology Conference on how changing vehicle ownership and economies of scale are driving expansion in fleet management models. The event is scheduled for Sept. 28-30. Click here for more information.

 

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